BNS: Thompson: Race notes

Birthday boy Tom Carey wins Thompson's Pepsi Racing 150 for second straight Busch North victory; Santerre's close second builds point lead to 132. THOMPSON, Conn. -- July 12 carries special significance for Tom Carey every year- it's both his ...

Birthday boy Tom Carey wins Thompson's Pepsi Racing 150 for second straight Busch North victory; Santerre's close second builds point lead to 132.

THOMPSON, Conn. -- July 12 carries special significance for Tom Carey every year- it's both his birthday and his wedding anniversary. The soft-spoken driver from Orange, Mass. will remember July 12, 2003 more than most, for Saturday night he won his second straight NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series race in dominant yet exciting fashion at Thompson International Speedway.

Carey took the Bud Pole and led 130 laps of the Pepsi Racing 150, but twice the victory nearly slipped away. Just after he reclaimed the lead from Martin Truex Jr. on lap 29, he bounced off the back straight wall hard enough to turn him nearly sideways, flattening the right rear fender of the Sta-Rite Water Systems Chevrolet and twisting the rear bumper.

Then, as the white flag waved and point leader Andy Santerre turned up the pressure, Carey was faced with a trio of cars directly ahead, racing for position on the tail of the lead lap. Santerre used the roadblock to pull even with Carey in turn one, but Carey was able to evade the trap by swinging to the outside in turn two. He led Santerre to the checkered flag by .38 seconds.

Carey's seventh career Busch North Series victory came on the heels of his June triumph at Stafford Motor Speedway, and gave him a .667 batting average in his first season with the Sta-Rite team owned by Tom Mahan and Dick Doyle. The Bud Pole was the eleventh of his career. He averaged 77.020 miles per hour as six caution flags slowed the field for 36 laps, and won $6,700 for his evening's work. Of the 32 starting cars, 28 were running at the finish, with 16 on the lead lap.

Martin Truex Jr., who pitted for tires at lap 51, charged back to take third and would have been a contender for victory if a caution flag had appeared in the closing stages. Matt Kobyluck and Mike Johnson dueled at close quarters for the final 25 laps, with Kobyluck winning a last-lap drag race to Warren Alston's checkered flag to claim fourth place by inches. The father-and-son team of Kelly Moore and Ryan Moore were sixth and seventh, with Dale Quarterley, Mike Olsen, and Dave Dion completing the top ten.

John Cerbone earned the PowerAde Power Move of the Race Award for improving his position ten spots, from 26th at the start to 16th at the finish, while Ryan Moore was the Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Race for the fifth time in seven races. Santerre extended his point lead to 132 markers over Kobyluck, who jumped from fifth to second in the standings.

After a steady diet of short tracks to open the season, the Busch North Series makes its first superspeedway appearance of the 2003 campaign next weekend in the New England 125 at New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon, N.H., the first of four appearances on NASCAR Winston Cup weekends. Practice and Bud Pole Qualifying are Thursday, July 17, with the race set to follow the NASCAR Busch Series event on Saturday, July 19.

NEXT RACE: New England 125, New Hampshire International Speedway, Loudon, N.H., Saturday, July 19

-nascar-

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Martin Truex Jr. , Dale Quarterley , Matt Kobyluck , Mike Johnson , Ryan Moore